Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB)

As technology reaches new heights in innovation, convenience, and flexibility, the healthcare industry is exploring new opportunities to expand its impact and accessibility in the communities it serves. In the sector of preventing concerning, harmful and problematic sexual behaviour, not for profit agencies aim to challenge traditional boundaries to access to clinicians, effectively serving clients regardless of their location.


Safe Network, Well Stop and Stop are three charitable organisations that work in the harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) sector to reduce the incidence and impact of concerning, harmful or problematic sexual behaviour on communities in New Zealand. The three agencies work cooperatively together in terms of their relationship with government agencies that fund their work, sharing resources and practice to provide a national service.


The three agencies in the HSB sector have seen an increase in the demand for intervention and service across the country in recent times. John Woodward, CEO, Safe Network notes, Young people are becoming increasingly sexualised through exposure to sexually explicit content through social media and devices they all have access to. This is creating real challenges for the families of these young people but also schools and clubs that these young people are involved with.


Our challenges are delivering service to the communities that need our help, especially those in remote locations. At the moment, we rely heavily on face to face contact and that limits the number of people we are able to help. Additionally, our sector is also very specialised, in the skills and experience it requires from clinicians to deliver services. So recruiting clinicians who can do this work is an ongoing challenge.


He adds, The absence of a strong technology platform restricts our ability to change our business model. Were locked into manual processes, making it difficult to retrieve and analyse information, or extract meaningful business insights for our government funders who make decisions around resource allocation and ongoing financial support.


The other challenge, Allistair Kohing, CIO, HSB Sector points out is that the expectations of stakeholders around reporting have changed from statistics based reporting to be more outcomes based. Clients and clinicians also expect to interact with agencies through web forms, social media and apps and this is putting the agencies working in the HSB sector under pressure to deliver services in new ways.


These evolving client expectations and the need for better, more accurate reporting led the agencies in the HSB sector to look for a technology platform that they could use together to deliver services to their communities. They identified Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the platform that would best enable them to manage cases and standardise their research and reporting across all three sister agencies.


 Trust and security were really important factors for us when we made decisions around our technology. The information we have on our clients is highly sensitive. It is imperative that it cannot be locked or accessed by outsiders. There are people whose lives can be at stake if the information we have on them becomes public and Microsofts stellar reputation really gave us the confidence that Dynamics 365 was the right platform for us, says Woodward.


In addition, the platforms user interface and ability to integrate with existing systems and processes made it attractive for the HSB Sector.  The great thing about doing this with our sector partners is that there will be standardised ways of dealing with client demographics, standardised psychometric testing and that means we can run reports for our funders or run research at a national level across data. This will be exciting for our clinical practice since we can use this information to improve our service, adds Woodward.


Kohing also notes, Microsoft Dynamics 365 will enable case managers to manage their own work load, get a sense of where they are in the process and flag issues as they come up and help them manage their client workload effectively. This is crucial in delivering services to remote areas and maintaining consistency across the three agencies so they can work together collaboratively.


An ongoing challenge for the not for profit industry is limited IT experience and the HSB sector is no different. They needed to find a partner that understood the requirements of the partnership, facilitate their digital transformation and guide them through the project. Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner Sable37, with their deep skills and experience in CRM fit the bill perfectly. What drew us to Sable37 was their technical expertise and project management skills. Their staff have the skills to lead us through the project, they understand the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform really well and were able to challenge us on things that would have implications on timeframes or the integrity of the platform long term, said Kohing.


The agencies are most excited about the potential Dynamics 365 offers in reporting to their government stakeholders Ministry of Social Development, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Health and Accident Compensation Corporation. The HSB sector will be able to move away from limited and infrequent reporting that does not offer much to influence decision-making around funding and resource allocation to a real-time view of how many cases are being managed, where the gaps are and what is needed to serve the communities better. This will help us manage demand, with a full process view of where clients are at and this can inform our funding decisions and resource allocation, which is very exciting for the future. Woodward says.


He concludes, My advice to other not for profit agencies is to start with a digital strategy. If we had the strategy at the start we would have identified the need to have a Microsoft platform that integrated with everything else we did. It is too hard to make a decision around a client management system which is such a fundamental tool in the organisation in isolation because it has implications beyond just the purpose for which its being implemented.